Foreground vs. Background

ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt
Here is a new project from my Colored Pencil Drawing class at Washtenaw Community College. The purpose of this project is to teach the student-artist how to differentiate the foreground from the background when painting or drawing.

The artist can blur the background and keep the foreground in focus. One can also use more intense colors in the foreground. This project demonstrates both approaches. I also utilized the impressed line technique with the veins in the leaves and in my signature. 
Coincidentally, there was  a recent article in the Huffington Post about a new 4D camera that will take interactive photos. It allows you to select and adjust the point of focus in your photo after it has been taken. The camera sharpens and intensifies your chosen point of focus, and blurs the other areas by using data it collects from 11 million rays of light!


Plein Air

ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt

I have had the pleasure of occasionally joining our Ann Arbor Women Artists Plein Air Group, whose outings are organized by Sandra Difazio.  Tapu and Sally Silvennoinen, one of our members, owns the historic Geddes Farm in Ann Arbor. We have been painting there each season over the past year.  This project will culminate in an upcoming art show at Moonwinks Cafe, located on the east side of Ann Arbor.

En Plein air is a French expression which means "in the open air", and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors. The first time I did it, many little animals including rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and bees came by to visit me. This added to the magic of the experience. It was as if I became "one" with the landscape while I painted it.  Every worry in the world just dropped away. I would love to do more plein air work in Michigan and perhaps other locations!

I hope you can stop by Moonwinks in November and see what some of our plein air painters have created.